EMU professor receives honor from Washtenaw County Health Organization
YPSILANTI - Marilyn Wedenoja, professor of social work at Eastern Michigan University, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Celebration of Success, sponsored by the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO) and the Community Support and Treatment Services.
What she didn’t realize was that she also was being honored for her work in the community.
Wedenoja received the “Outstanding Community Involvement Award for 2006” by the WCHO, which represents a collaborative effort between Washtenaw County and the University of Michigan Health System to provide integrated health care to persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse.
“The award came as a surprise to me,” said Wedenoja. “I had been asked to be the keynote speaker about the person-centered planning process. I didn’t know, until I arrived and saw it on the program, that I had been selected for this award.”
Wedenoja, who has more than 30 years of experience in the mental health services field, has worked with the WCHO to educate the community regarding person-centered planning. Person-centered planning involves the creation of methods and resources that enable persons with disabilities to define their own directions in life. In Michigan, person-centered planning is mandated by law to those who receive state-funded mental health services.
“I felt very humbled by the recognition because I hold the people in this organization and in our community in such high regard,” said Wedenoja.
She also has worked with the WCHO by participating in cable television programs for community education about mental health services, gathering data for a family education program, and helping design and provide training to mental health patients and their families.
Throughout her career, Wedenoja has published and presented at the national, state and local levels, including topics related to: family, professional collaboration, services for families coping with severe mental illness and substance abuse. She has three degrees from the University of Michigan, including a masters of social work and Ph.D.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
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